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Old 08-03-2005, 09:27 PM   #1
speednby
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Default Kuhmo vs. Hankook vs. Falken

Alright everyone... I'm about to start an all out tire war thread. First, let me say I've already done the required prerequisite newbie searches out the yinyang, but I need current input / opinions to help me make my tire decision.

That said, I have an '02 WRX Wagon that is my daily driver, but I also autox about once a month. I run in DS and plan to remain there because I don't really want to do any major mods to the car. However, after getting about a half dozen events under my belt, I'm getting a little tired of guys with DOT race tires beatin' me by a few tenths of a second. So, I did my NASIOC homework, and my new front sway bar and end links are on the way. Once that is installed, the next step is tires, and I have multiple questions:

1) Size: In DS I have to run the stock 16 x 6.5 wheels. However, I would like to run a wider tire than the stock 205's. Lookin for any input from anyone out there running 215's or 225's on stock rims for fitment / clearance / etc.

2) Brand: I've kinda narrowed it down to the following tires (but I am certainly open to suggestions):

- Falken Azenis Sports - Obviously tried and true in the autox ranks, but size variety and availability seem to be a problem. Looks like there are still a few vendors out there with the stock 205/50's, and even a few with 215/45's. Anyone out there running the 215/45's on stock size wheels?

- Hankook Ventus RS2 Z212: I've read some good things about these, and it looks like they are available in a 205/50, 225/55 as well as 215/45. I would love to hear from anyone running any of these sizes on stock wheels.

- Kumho Ecsta MX: Also tried and true. Also available in multiple sizes.

- Kumho Ecsta Supra 712: New kid on the block?? I've read some good things. Supposedly a good wet tire? Again, available in multiple sizes.

I have a spare set of wheels, and I don't mind running the stock Potenza's on a daily basis, so tread wear is really not a concern as I will probably just change to the performance tire for autox day and the occasional "I wanna have some fun" day.

Of course, once the tire decision is made and installed, the alignment shop will be the next stop.


Ok...everyone ready??

LET THE WAR BEGIN!!!!
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Old 08-03-2005, 09:46 PM   #2
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The new falken (RT-615) is the fastest tire you listed, in a test run by grassroots motorsports.

buy the August 2005 issue of GRM, they tested the tires worth testing for autocross. No flamefest necessary.

But they still won't be as fast as dot-r's.

They also tested dot-r tires, the slowest R tire was faster than the fastest street tire (the falken RT-615) by nearly half a second (0.44x).

Also the article was interesting in pointing out the characteristics of each tire, which could help with a decision to go with a certain tire for your needs and fitment.


The 712's are the low end of performance tires, a decent tire for the street at a low price, but not comparable to other serious autocross tires. I ran them in 225/40-18 on my Audi A4 and was happy with their performance for the price, but they are no where close to the RT-615's I ran in 225/45-17 in grip levels nor even the old falken RT-215's (the predecessor to the 615) that I ran in 205/55-16.
For slightly better performance (IMO) and also a good price for a performance street tire than the 712, check out the falken GRB415 - but again this is a tire not up to par with other autocross tires - great for a moderate-high level of grip on the street. I ran the falken grb's on my Audi a4 in 225/45-17 on the street and at the track and was very pleasantly surprised with their bang for the buck performance. Not bad at all. They held up pretty well to my overdriving/overheating poor driving at the track.

/ramble off
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:27 PM   #3
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:59 PM   #4
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wagon rear with 48 offset and 225 wide tires have to have there rear's rolled to avoid rubbing.
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Old 08-03-2005, 11:38 PM   #5
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I assume that your main priority is dry traction.

I personally have owned the Kumho MX and 712, have the stock Bridgestone RE-070s on my STi, and I've had a number of different R-compound tires.

Take the 712 off your list. Not even in the same league as the others.

MX is a good tire and an excellent value, but it falls short of the RE-070 and R-compound tires by a good margin.

I've heard that the Falkens and the Hankooks are both excellent tires for dry traction that are in the same league as the RE-070s.

I'm leaning toward the Hankooks as my next summer tire set simply because it appears they will handle the occasional downpour better than the Falkens.

So, for dry traction,

Falken ~= Hankook > MX >> 712.
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Old 08-04-2005, 12:11 AM   #6
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...I have found that the Z212 Hankooks are VERY loose on wet, SEALED blacktop.....great, otherwise........and the MX's were good, WET, until they were under ~1/2 tread...and they never exhibited any hardening due to heat cycles(quite the opposite, in fact), which the Falken RT-215's DID....BADLY.
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Old 08-04-2005, 08:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hybrid gti 2
wagon rear with 48 offset and 225 wide tires have to have there rear's rolled to avoid rubbing.
That is true, but in this case, we are talking about tires on STOCK WRX wheels to stay in D-stock autocross.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdreams
The new falken (RT-615) is the fastest tire you listed, in a test run by grassroots motorsports.

buy the August 2005 issue of GRM, they tested the tires worth testing for autocross. No flamefest necessary.

But they still won't be as fast as dot-r's.
Thanks for the info, I think I might actually have that magazine at home, I will have to read the article. As for DOT-R's, I haven't ruled them out yet, but I want something that won't kill me if I happen to be at a wet event or for that suprise summer afternoon downpour on the drive home.
Maybe something like the Hankook Ventus RSS Z211?


Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCLE SCOTTY
and the MX's were good, WET, until they were under ~1/2 tread...and they never exhibited any hardening due to heat cycles(quite the opposite, in fact), which the Falken RT-215's DID....BADLY.
I didn't know that about the RT-215's, I'll have to take that under consideration as I was kinda leaning that way. Any other thoughts on the new 615's vs. the old 215's?
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbrier
That is true, but in this case, we are talking about tires on STOCK WRX wheels to stay in D-stock autocross.

Yes...I was thinking the same thing. Stock wheel offset is 55 if memory serves me...
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
I'm getting a little tired of guys with DOT race tires beatin' me by a few tenths of a second.
You might gain some time from running better streets... and if you're losing by a few thenths, good street tires would definitely close that gap.

But make no mistake about it... they're street tires, not r-compounds. R-compounds will still be faster than the street tires you're looking for.

--kC
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC
You might gain some time from running better streets... and if you're losing by a few thenths, good street tires would definitely close that gap.

But make no mistake about it... they're street tires, not r-compounds. R-compounds will still be faster than the street tires you're looking for.

--kC
Actually, KC, I misspoke in my original message. I should have said "max performance summer tires", rather than "DOT race tires". Yes, I know that DOT-R's are much faster, and although it's still in the back of my head, I'm not sure if I am ready to make that leap yet. Got a little problem with budget vs. "gotta have it" syndrome...
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Old 08-04-2005, 11:29 AM   #12
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One thing I like about the MXs is as they were used they got better. It's odd but the tire almost dead was better than new. I think the heat cycles make the rubber softer and then it grips better. Once the tread goes away though they are not good street tires. You can still use them in the dry and track but watch out in the rain.
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Old 08-04-2005, 01:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetroitWRX
One thing I like about the MXs is as they were used they got better. It's odd but the tire almost dead was better than new. I think the heat cycles make the rubber softer and then it grips better. Once the tread goes away though they are not good street tires. You can still use them in the dry and track but watch out in the rain.

I found this too.....the MX's with ~2/32" tread(when I took them off) were in the wet......and in the DRY, too but they NEVER got hard like rocks like the Falken RT-215's did after about the same mileage.
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Old 08-04-2005, 03:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Scotty
...I have found that the Z212 Hankooks are VERY loose on wet, SEALED blacktop.....great, otherwise........and the MX's were good, WET, until they were under ~1/2 tread...and they never exhibited any hardening due to heat cycles(quite the opposite, in fact), which the Falken RT-215's DID....BADLY.
so the Hankooks r not that great in wet?
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdreams
The new falken (RT-615) is the fastest tire you listed, in a test run by grassroots motorsports.

buy the August 2005 issue of GRM, they tested the tires worth testing for autocross. No flamefest necessary.

But they still won't be as fast as dot-r's.

They also tested dot-r tires, the slowest R tire was faster than the fastest street tire (the falken RT-615) by nearly half a second (0.44x).

Except that the last part of your comment doesn't mean anything because the street compound test and r compound test were performed with two completely different cars. The difference between the street tires and the r compounds would probably be closer to a second to a second and a half if the both tests had been conducted with the same car.
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Old 08-04-2005, 04:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ommmjido
so the Hankooks r not that great in wet?

.......READ THE FLIPPIN' POST ! ! !! ! ! ! ! !! ! ! ! ! ! ! !! ! !! ! !!! !

S E A L E D blacktop....like parking lots...get it????.....and most ALL tires are bad on that in the wet.
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Old 08-04-2005, 09:57 PM   #17
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sorry didnt understand what u meant by sealed blacktop.

so how do the hankooks compare to the Kumho MX in the wet?
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ommmjido
sorry didnt understand what u meant by sealed blacktop.

so how do the hankooks compare to the Kumho MX in the wet?
Doh!!!!!
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastdreams
The new falken (RT-615) is the fastest tire you listed, in a test run by grassroots motorsports.
Ok... Let's get back to this tire... Now, according to the GRR write up, this could be a smart tire choice. But, let me ask you guys something...

Does Falken have something against us guys that are running 16" wheels??

Currently, I can only find this wheel for sale in a 205/40 for us 16" guys (gals). The Falken website has a chart that shows this tire in a 225/50-16 and in a 215/45-16, but all of the spec categories are listed as "TBA"??? I assume this means that they intend to make these sizes in the future, but does anyone know when??
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Old 08-04-2005, 10:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ommmjido
sorry didnt understand what u meant by sealed blacktop.

so how do the hankooks compare to the Kumho MX in the wet?


...well....so far the Hankooks are solid in the wet.....I drove on the highway in the rain with them and had no issues....but that is full tread and I didn't 'push' it....only ~1500 miles....gonna rotate them at 2k....
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Old 08-08-2005, 09:27 AM   #21
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Bump - For anyone with more info/opinions on the Falken Azenis RT-615?? And does anyone know if they are available in any 16" size other than 205/40-16?
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Old 08-08-2005, 10:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speednby
Bump - For anyone with more info/opinions on the Falken Azenis RT-615?? And does anyone know if they are available in any 16" size other than 205/40-16?
That's the only 16" size available on discount tire direct and vulcan tires web sites.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:08 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jweiss
That's the only 16" size available on discount tire direct and vulcan tires web sites.

Yeah, I know. But, if you go to Falken's web site, their charts show some other 16" sizes, but all the specs are listed as "TBA". I was wondering if anyone had any info about weather or not they are available or will soon be available anywhere in the states???
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Old 08-10-2005, 12:55 PM   #24
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Thus far I've been VERY impressed with the Hankook's wet performance. Mine still have a lot of tread on them as I've only had them on for a few weeks, but they're done a fine job on the highway in torrential downpours and the braking grip on a wet roadcourse was pretty shocking. I like them a LOT in the rain. Still dialing the car in for dry conditions.
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Old 08-11-2005, 01:09 AM   #25
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would anyone here suggest the hankook's over the falken rt615's? i've read nothing but greatness about the rt615, but at $150 a pop (225/45/17) im willing to shop around for something a little cheaper but still performs really well.
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